When the kids got old enough, we pretty quickly realized that doing jigsaw puzzles as a family is a fantastic way to get some quality time together. Initially, they were the easy puzzles with only a few pieces. Even so, it was amazing to see how quickly they latched on to the concept of fitting the pieces and creating the final picture.
As the kids got older, we were able to progress to more and more challenging puzzles. We now do 500 and even 1,000 piece puzzles with some regularity. The kids have developed their own unique strategies for solving, but everyone loves the initial “find the edges” party of the process.
One tip for other parents is that it’s pretty important to have a good puzzle table. The chaos of daily life with kids means things get messy, and having a dedicated space to keep the puzzles is pretty important. Otherwise you end up with partially completely jigsaws that get messed up. Having a nice table means you have a place to work on the puzzles, and the house doesn’t get littered with random pieces.
We’ve also found that picking the right subject matter is important. The kids don’t get as excited with landscapes and photography as they do with cartoon characters. We’ve been on a Nemo and Dory puzzle kick lately, and there’s no end in sight.
If your family doesn’t do jigsaw puzzles together, give it a shot. It’s a great way to bond and is intellectually stimulating for the little ones (and sometimes the adults 🙂